Tech Trek – STEM Summer Camp
Each year AAUW holds one-week STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) summer camps for girls entering the 8th grade. Candidates are nominated by their 7th grade science or math teacher.
The curriculum includes a variety of exciting projects. Campers participate in math, science, or engineering classes. Classes include projects such as building and launching rockets, performing science experiments like dissecting cow’s eyes or frogs, or building an engineered structure with paper cylinders they rolled. They also go on field trips (like a visit to the wetlands or a water treatment plant), use a telescope for astronomy, play interactive money budgeting games, hear STEM role models on a panel of speakers, exercise via Zumba dancing, and spend time journaling.
The camps give the girls the exciting opportunity to stay on a college campus for the week. They sleep in dorm rooms, eat in the dining hall, and attend classes and workshops in college classrooms with other girls their age who have similar interests.
The week is very busy and planned so the campers have a chance to meet and work with a lot of other girls. Camps like Tech Trek improve girls' interest in STEM subjects. Girls benefit greatly from exposure to STEM role models, learning that they can excel in STEM fields.
Due to the onset of COVID-19, the summer camp had to be cancelled in 2020. With the uncertainty of when the pandemic will be under control, the summer camp in 2021 will be a virtual experience. The core curriculum will be in robotics, with many interesting projects in breakout groups. The upside will be that more girls may attend camps, since more week-long camps will be held through the summer.